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A Pirate Bailout

By John Martin - Posted on 11 April 2009

With a brave American and a few hundred other people from the civilized world now held captive, I say we just give these pirates whatever they're looking for.  It would take what-- $2, $10, $20 million to get them all free?  The federal government loses that much under couch cushions every day. 

The Pirate Bailout would be step #1.

While we're scavenging D.C. couches, we should simultaneously be diverting a few predators from Iraq and Afghanistan, and committing whatever other resources we'd need for the payback these scum have coming to them.  If it involves sending Rangers in to avenge the massacre back in Mogadishu, then that might be what is necessary. 

I don't think the American people are in the same place in 2009 as we were in 1993.  In 1993, many were under the impression that we wouldn't have to suffer any more battlefield casualties.  I think most people have shaken that by now.  The danger this time around would be with some on the left who'd begin to lash out at Obama, calling him a warmonger and accusing him of trying to conjure up a fake threat.  I think if Barack is upfront with the public and doesn't try to oversell the pirate-AQ connection (even though there is one), the American people could be convinced that we need to eliminate these people.  Now that an American has been captured, people are beginning to understand that this problem is growing and won't go away without a fight.

That's step #2.

Step #3, which could come after a few hundred, or a few thousand, Somalis are killed, would involve some sort of renewed international effort to normalize this "country."  I have no idea who'd want to help out in such a ghastly place, but there might be some.  Europe is out, obviously.  The African Union might be willing to increase the troops they have there now.  Maybe China would be looking to spread its wings. 

With these pirate attacks on the rise, the world has to wake up and realize that some hard pirate decisions are going to have to be made.


Yeah, after Iraq, I don't think this is such a good idea.

I am opposed to #1 because it would just encourage the others.

I am opposed to #2 because -- well, do we have any human intelligence in Somalia to tell us who or what to attack? Taking action is kinda useless without the intel to back it up. A lesson that our country should have learned by now the hard way by now.

I am opposed to #3 because it's not the right solution to the problem and is too costly in human lives and treasure, and it would perpetuate our reputation as a world bully, etc.

Instead we should encourage the world's navies, as well as our own, to escort commercial ships in the area, as well as in the waters surrounding Indonesia where piracy is also an issue.

One of the main purposes of maintaining a navy is to protect the maritime shipping lanes. They aren't just glorified forces waiting to support land actions. 

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

1.  Not sure about that.  I'd only be for paying off these guys if we coupled it with at least #2.

2.  There's a reason why we entered the horn of Africa after 9/11.  My guess is that we know who all these guys are by name (not the low level guys now on the raft, but those funding and coordinating.)

3.  I think you're right-- any effort to stabilize the country would have to be sanctioned by the U.N., but I think it's necessary.

Your suggestion may be radical, but we ignored the warning signs far too long. The fact is many people have been the victims of pirates for a long time-but with the focus for the first time on an American, suddenly the reality is hitting us hard. I don't care what transpires, but with every passing hour I just want one short term outcome: for the safe return of our American hostage. This has been heartbreaking for me as an observer, so I can only imagine what this family is going through.

Strange ideas have been going through my mind: is there any technology that would allow this boat to be sucked under water to disorient the pirates/disable the guns? Perhaps underwater divers could grab the hostage while the pirates are swept into a net? It just seems we have such technology capability-is this too far-fetched? Maybe I've just watched too many movies!


I still say, whenever any pirates are captured, they be slung out over the side of small boats, in the water, and made to stay there until the sharks come along for their meal. That, I think, would discourage piracy real quick.
I'm with Izzy in that I just want this American man to be brought home safely.  Anything else can be figured out after that is accomplished.

Yeah, see, I don't agree that treating other human beings that way is right either.

I mean, it makes sense from a sort of revenge fantasy point of view, but when it comes to real life just look at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and Baghram etc.  

Hopefully our country has moved past that stage.  Again.

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

I just don't know how to read this, Cap'n Jack.  Sometimes I can't tell if your blog entries are meant to be filled with sarcastic humor, or not. 


Why don't we just arm the merchant ships with a bunch of sweet weapons systems.  After a couple dozen pirate ships were turned to slag by multiple RPG's that would solve the problem.  Wouldn't it?



War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders."

- President George W. Bush - March 17th, 2003 

Wooohooo...chance to the rescue.

Hey Chance-- I getcha.  I think we'll start doing video blogs around here.

I'm serious, though.  This seems identical to the Barbary Pirate situation 200 years ago.  I really think we need to defeat these guys.  People in countries like Somalia have nothing going on.  Some warlord says "hey, I'll give you a few hundred bucks to rob a few ships," and they jump at the offer.

This recent kidnapping is not going to be the last.  The only reason why we're talking about this now is because an American is involved.

Here's a chart I just got off NATO's site.  It was made a couple of weeks ago.  It gives an idea of how this is a very regular occurrence.  After we get that American back, these pirates don't all stay at home to watch soccer on TV:

Wouldn't it be simpler to arm the crew members?
I still don't know why we don't allow this.  I'm guessing there's a reason, but I haven't come across it yet.

I was only half joking about the merchant ships having RPG's onboard.  I know that the pirates carry some pretty nasty weapons, but their boats are very small.  The trick is to sink their boat before they can fire at the ship.  

You best believe that if I was a ship owner, I would be arming my ships and would be training select crew members on how to use the weapons in a long range situation.  

The pirates would never get aboard one of my vessels.  


War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders."

- President George W. Bush - March 17th, 2003 

Yeah, it seems reasonable to me. Less objectionable than some people find arming airline pilots anyway.

Or at least carry a couple of security guards in the crew. 

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

Shipping companies are afraid to arm crew members because of possible mutiny. Could be tempting to take over a ship when you are paid slave wages.

They have also been known to take over cruise lines. And these companies don't want guest to see guns on crew members.

I can understand about the cruise ships.  But most of the hijacked ships are oil tankers.  A cargo that valuable is why the companies are usually willing to pay the ransome.  It seems like a few armed guards would be a good investment.
That's the problem Suzi - do you want a spark from a possible rifle fire onboard a tanker full of gas?

Whoops....I hadn't thought of that!  Good point.

The pirates don't seem to concerned about it.

Plus not all of the ships are tanker ships. This particular one was a container ship, I believe. 

Firehoses seemed pretty effective in this case, but I still say an armed guard or two would be a good idea. Even on a tanker.

Then again, I was a Marine. Heh. That was our beginning purpose, security of warships. 

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

Reconnaissance by poking around?

When you are far enough out at sea the water is clear to about 100 feet down. You can easily see things in the water. I guess that's out. Well, back to the drawing board.

This article is a couple of days old, but interesting none the less.  It seems that intelligence sources say that we already have a Special Ops battle plan, but are waiting for a green light.  From the New York Daily News...

I couldn't help it. I had to pass this on.

Give them the money,then they release captain, then we take em out,,,ones on land also. Kablewy,,,pirates,,what pirates ,,I didn't see and pirates. Until forceful action is done,,they are a constant threat. Shooting Rampage  Guillotine  Fencing Fighting  Machine Gun Shooting SmileyForeign Smiling Being Shot

An order like that would come from Obama no? I mean he would be advised on it and make the ultimate all go? If so it would be something for critics to chew on and it would show he's wiliing to take action if need be. Might be good with strong military men and women like our buddy Reaganfan and other pro-military Americans. While also keeping people on the far left unhappy.... maybe...

Or it might not have come from him. I hope so though it would be good for his standing and would help a lot people trust him more to take the best action needed instead waiting around....

I was just watching the NBC nightly news and Lester Holt(I think) said that Obama ordered the pirates to be shot.


That is good. We know Obama won't try to get us in another war or anything but I think this proves if only a little bit that who will take action on somethings if need be.

Anyone at the conservative sites like Red State or anywhere else talking about him making the order? I'd really be interested to know what the neocon crowd who thinks Obama will be a push over internationally.

Here's the link to thre Freepers on this, SG.


Intelligent people seem to be in pretty short supply in FReeperland.  On the other hand, smarta$$es abound!

It seems these people lack a basic understanding about what the Navy can and connot do in international waters, and what orders need to be issued by whom.  Sheesh!

I asked for it didn't I... Geez... Not that I expected them to buy it outright but I thought maybe some would more open to the possiblity that first that he actually OKed the order and second that it was something they agree with him on. I give some people too much credit? I mean I know there really isn't much definitive proof that Obama did give the advised orders instead of just the Military acting on "existing orders" like something I read from that link but is it really harder to buy that than say it being "White House spin"?

Anyway, I did think one comment was pretty funny because she brought this on herself...

"Hillary was in a nearby dingy, dodging sniper fire."

And one out there comment from someone who will probably more miserable than just regular neocons the next four years:

"Fox News is just another propaganda outlet, and exhausted their conservative “street cred” a long time ago"

Does he mean even they are now too liberal or does he mean they are not doing the conservative movement any favors with their style of "reporting"? Judging by this being Free Republic it's probably the first one, no? Oh well. ( :

WOW. I finished reading the comments from FRepublic and i'm a little shocked quite honestly. I knew they were neocon but they are a little more warped than I thought. They were actually calling Fox News liberal and saying they were terrible for reporting that the order was given by Obama. Among all the other BS. I mean I can't imagine how those comments look on a more touchy subject. Actually I can, and it's the stuff headaches are made of...

Maybe I should leave the FReeper searches up to Misty. She seems to get kick out it. ( :

At first I felt like you, but the more I read, the more I realized just how..ummm, UNintelligent these people are, like Missty I think they are funny.  If they actually discussed and held their conservative opinion, no matter how extreme, it would be one thing.  But all they can seem to do is toss insults, bash the President,  and make stupid remarks.  I mean...One poster commented "He's ugly".  That was his comment about Obama's role in freeing  the capitan.  Other posters thought that was hilarious.  I dunno...these people seem a few bricks short of a load, if you ask me.  ;-D

You're right, I saw a lot of insults, is that just common place in every thread on every subject? Doesn't matter if your left and it's Bush, or Right and it's Obama, going through life as bitter as some of them seem to be, has got to be stressful...

I left a few things out of that post you responded to. One they were still repeating the perceptions about him hating the military when he's had a good record with Veterans issues(the never officially announced plan about the private insurance thing probably didn't help though).   

The next thing was a question: What were some of them talking about when they were joking about Obama having a chef from another state make him a Pizza?


I also saw tons of references to Obama being a Muslim..and of course, the obligatory birth certificate references.  lol 

I assumed that the pizza thing was a reference to the pizza  from Chicago that was served at the Innauguration.  Why that would be a problem for anyone was beyond me. 

The people on Free Republic, Red State, etc., will criticize Obama 100% of the time.  If it was criticism 98% of the time I might be able to take them somewhat seriously.


What do you know John? You're a democrat. ( :

Being a democrat is miserable John, get use to it. Then maybe one day if you're good, RedState will take you back... *crosses fingers*

Jokes with this are plentiful. Sorry. I couldn't resist.  ( :


Thank goodness! 

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

 GREAT NEWS!!!!!! 
We really don't need to inter into another war. But, it would be nice if we can find a way for these people to support themselfs with out theifing and killing. As I listen to the news, they said these guys chew on drug laced plants or something all day and are always strung out. so it probally isn't a simple thing of helping the country, if they have a seriouse drug problem! we can't Detox a country or a vast majority of a country, now can we. I have no solution, and the way maritime law is, we can't legally do much untill international laws change. It's more than just the U.S. can do alone that is for sure.

Here are two articles from Associated Press about Phillip's rescue, the operation, and Pres. Obama's role:


Misty can watch the FReepers and i'll keep watching Yahoo Buzz. In this case there is a lot of positive for Obama but more people are just understandably happy the captain is safe.....

Obama was told Sunday of the rescue while he was in the White House residence, administration officials said. He phoned Phillips and Phillips' family, an official told FOX News.

"I am very pleased that Capt. Phillips has been rescued and is safely on board the USS Boxer," the president said in a statement. "His safety has been our principal concern, and I know this is a welcome relief to his family and his crew."

This was BREAKING NEWS on Fox News-they followed it up with "Will this increase violent attacks by Somali pirates?" They are desperate to see him fail at something. It will not matter what the man does or doesn't do for the next four years...well, you get the point.

They are desperate to see him fail at something. It will not matter what the man does or doesn't do for the next four years...well, you get the point

Are you sure Misty? I have it on good authority that Fox News is liberal now. Especially on this subject. ( :

Prepare for an extra dose of hate this week! Whenever something positive happens in this young presidency, the people hoping for failure get riled up about something else. I wonder what this week will bring?

Any ideas? You know it's coming.

Oh wait, the teabaggers are coming, the teabaggers are coming!

This is a good article from The Washington Post about how important this victory is for Pres. Obama. Now, I would never say anyone is evil enough to have secretly wished this did not go well for Pres. Obama (who could ever wish harm for an American hostage?), but I imagine there were some right-wing folks watching closely, ready to pounce, at any sign of weakness/error from Pres. Obama in this operation. While everyone-left right, and center-must have been thrilled with the outcome-I'm sure the right is scratching their heads wondering: How can we be critical of that? I can imagine we might start hearing: "well, the praise should not go to Pres. Obama, it should go to our military and this brave American and his crew...", or something like that. Or, as Fox News did, they will try to get critical of how Pres. Obama might deal with this long-term. If they can't praise Obama on this one, they will lose credibility even more than they already have. Do I have my Limbaugh/Hannity/O'Reilly spies out there? How will they respond?

It was one of the earliest tests of the new American president -- a small military operation off the coast of a Third World nation. But as President Bill Clinton found out in October 1993, even minor failures can have long-lasting consequences.

Clinton's efforts to land a small contingent of troops in Haiti were rebuffed, for the world to see, by a few hundred gun-toting Haitians. As the USS Harlan County retreated, so did the president's reputation.

For President Obama, last week's confrontation with Somali pirates posed similar political risks to a young commander in chief who had yet to prove himself to his generals or his public.

But the result -- a dramatic and successful rescue operation by U.S. Special Operations forces -- left Obama with an early victory that could help build confidence in his ability to direct military actions abroad.


  Obama doesn;t need to stop now,,plenty more actions need to take place..Threat is not over, what happens if this takes place again, innocent lives will be lost.  Great great ending to this, but if no action is taken only a matter of time before it happens again.

Bolton Wants 'Boots On the Ground' in Somalia

You first John

From Wikipedia

Though Bolton supported the Vietnam War, he enlisted in the Maryland Army National Guard rather than fight in Vietnam. He wrote in his Yale 25th reunion book "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost."

BTW now how far into Africa do we go chasing the Somalia Pirates? Kenya?

I liked this comment at Think Progress:

"By that logic, we should also “invade” Los Angeles to hunt down the Bloods and Crips, and we better move quickly to “invade” the Deep South to take out Klansmen and neo-nazis. This is so stupid. These pirates aren’t professional swashbucklers. They’re also fishermen on the days where they aren’t plundering booty. It’s literally impossible to tell a fisherman from a pirate until they’re on a boat full of guns chasing down an ocean liner. Do we just go through every Somali city shooting anyone who has a boat? Better yet, I guess we should just round them all up and throw them in a prison until they admit to having material evidence about the location of Blackbeard’s gold."

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